Easter Activity

Men and women with a disability enjoyed being part of the Lord’s Last Supper with his disciples on Maundy Thursday. As the Catholic Church saw the start of the Easter Triduum, the main celebrations in parishes commemorate the first Eucharist which includes the washing of the hands and feet.

For this symbolic gesture, the parish church of Kalkara chose 12 people with a disability who live in the community.

From outside it looks like any other house, however, once you step inside, you find a large family. Although they are not related, these people all love each other just like any other family.

At Dar il-Wens in Kalkara there are 23 residents, all of whom contribute to society through different types of work.

“We had a lot of dolls,  3,000 dolls and we take them to the factory so that people can buy them,” explained resident Joseph Compagno.

With the money they save from their paycheque, what the residents enjoy the most is travelling. This was confirmed by resident Sandro Tabone. “I went on a cruise with them, I went twice…it was fun.”

The residents were also looking forward to attending the activities related to Holy Week. “I went to the see the play at the Ħal Far centre yesterday, I went with my friends, whom I haven’t seen for a long time,” said Sandro.

On Maundy Thursday at the parish, the residents played an active role as some of them were involved in the religious rite of the washing of the hands and feet.

The Parish priest, Dun Brian Gialanze, explained that this function is a live tribute to when Jesus chose to celebrate the Eucharist with the people who were closest to him. He said that in the same way, the Kalkara parish chose the family at Dar il-Wens, which he described as the heart of the village.

“With this gesture, we want to show the importance of this community, as well as show how much we need to take care of those among us who are marginalised,” he said.

Even though this was not his first experience, Frances Farrugia was looking forward to the event: “I was very happy to be involved, when they washed my feet as an apostle, because it made me happy.”

Those who could not participate still got a treat. “They gave us traditional ‘Apostle’s bread’ and we shared it here,” Frances said.

The home’s administrator Mark Psaila, explained that this occasion is a way for the residents to integrate with the community of Kalkara where they live. He said that working at this home is a vocation, and just like Jesus, those who work with these people need to roll up their sleeves and wash the apostles’ feet with love.